SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The U.S. Speedskating Board of Directors has placed U.S. speedskating coach Jae Su Chun on administrative leave pending an investigation into abuse claims made by more than a dozen U.S. speedskaters, including Olympic medalists.
Many of the speedskaters who claim they were abused trained at the Olympic Oval in Kearns. They would go there to work on their hopes and dreams of competing in the Olympics, but now after what Chun supposedly has done - he's turned those dreams into a nightmare.
"Hi my name is Coach Chun; I am the short track national team coach," said Jae Su Chun, in an online video.
The coach may not be familiar to you, but to some of the top U.S. speedskaters he has become a monster.
14 American athletes are claiming Chun and his two assistants, Jimmy Jang and Jun Hyung Yeo, physically and mentally abused them.
In a complaint written to the United States Olympic Committee, attorneys for the athletes claim –
“Jae Su slammed an athlete up against a wall and repeatedly hit him for "disrespecting him." They said, “Jae Su repeatedly screamed insults at skaters, telling them that they were "worthless and disgusting," and told female skaters they were “fat,” “disgusting” and “should not eat.” Attorneys claim he “pushed athletes past the point of overtraining,” causing injury, and for some of them, they needed surgery.
Five of the athletes making the claim have medaled in the Olympics. They said the coaches’ tactics have left them scared, and humiliated. They’re boycotting the National Racing Program and now training in the Kearns Olympic Oval on their own. They want to avoid the man they called their coach, at all costs.
In the letter, athletes are asking the Olympic Committee to fire coach Chun and his staff. The World Cup is coming up in just 12 days and they want someone else to coach them instead.